More positive news comes when we look at the bottom of this phone where lurks a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Along with a simple to use music player and a microSD card slot underneath the battery, which supports cards up to 4GB, this makes for a great little mp3 player. The only bug bear is that music doesn’t pause when you unplug your headphones. It’s not all rosy, though, as the micro-USB socket – used for connecting the phone to a PC – doesn’t charge the phone. Instead, you must use the tiny, cylindrical proprietary charging socket. Thankfully, battery life is a strong point and you should be able to get around a week out of it with casual use.
Navigating your way around the 6303 is simplicity itself thanks in part to the speediness of the Symbian S40 operating system. While we’ve had cause to complain about Nokia’s continued use of Symbian in more powerful phones like the N97, where it’s simplicity and limited support for touchscreens feels awkward, on a basic phone like this it really shines. Just about the entire interface conforms to a basic set of layouts: a grid of icons for the main menu, lists of items for sub menus, and further text-only lists for options. Apart from learning where a few less obvious functions and features are located, it’s a breeze to use.
We were also surprised by the quality of the games. We could take or leave the Brain Training clone and peculiar City Bloxx games, but the LocoRoco clone and Sudoku games were sufficiently entertaining. It’s also easy to get hold of other games and apps through the OVI app store, for activities such as accessing your favourite social networking sites and uploading photos to Flickr. However, their functionality is limited with no support for push notifications or multitasking so this certainly isn’t a rival to any smartphone. The default web browser is rather limited as well with a clunky interface and an inability to display full scaled web pages – it can show full web pages but at a maximum of 50 per cent zoom. You can install Opera mini, though, to get a slightly better browsing experience.
Of course, as this is a basic phone, arguably it’s most important feature is call quality and thankfully the 6303 didn’t disappoint. It produced a smooth natural tone through the earpiece and likewise from the microphone. The loudspeaker being on the back isn’t ideal for conference calling but otherwise this phone passed our calling test with flying colours.
The Nokia 6303 is one of the best ‘basic’ phones on the market. It’s small and slim yet easy to handle, and is superbly well made. It’s also great for making calls on, has a vast battery life, doubles as a great little mp3 player and even has a half decent camera. It has its limitations when it comes to browsing the web and keeping up with your social network but the only real fly in the ointment is its use of a proprietary charging socket, which in this day and age is a major faux pas.